If you’re considering working as a caregiver, there are dozens of different ways to do it. While many people assume working as a caregiver means working for a home care agency, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you can work for anyone from a private employer to your own family member! To learn more about all the options you have for working as a caregiver, read on:
7 Different Options for Working as a Caregiver
Whether you’re a new caregiver looking to enter the industry or an experienced professional wondering about your options for lateral movement, these are the top ways to work as a caregiver.
1. Work for An Agency
Working for an agency is one of the most popular methods of working as a caregiver. Designed to cater to the various needs of seniors in the in-home environment, home-care agencies partner qualified caregivers with home care jobs across the country and throughout the states.
Agencies act as a third-party between the caregiver and the patient, and make life easier for caregivers by finding clients for them, handling payroll and offering structure. Caregivers who work for home-care agencies may be required to have one or several certifications, although this depends largely on the state in which they live.
While states like Alabama have no licensing requirements, Arizona requires basic caregiver training for home care professionals, and 6 hours of training for Caregivers for Medicaid. You can look up your state’s training requirements on caregiverlist.com.
2. Work for Family
Thanks to a popular consumer-directed program known as CDPAP, it’s now possible for family caregivers to work as employees for the loved ones they care for.
Designed to take some of the burden off both caregivers and patients, CDPAP makes it easy for caregivers to offer and orchestrate payment while also ensuring that the honorable duty of caregiving doesn’t create a financial burden for family caregivers.
Under CDPAP, caregivers can hire family members or loved ones to provide their in-home care, and CDPAP will handle payroll issuing, training, and more. Throughout it all, the caregiver is responsible for hiring, managing, and terminating caregivers, and maintaining payroll reports.
This system provides for a safer and more comfortable care environment for seniors, and a more financially viable way to care for loved-ones for caregivers.
3. Work for Friends or Neighbors
CDPAP also allows patients to hire friends or neighbors to provide their in-home care. An extension of the consumer-directed program that allows patients to choose their own caregivers, hiring friends and neighbors has become popular among people who want to take control of their caregiving but already know someone with whom they would trust their care.
Like working for a family member, working for a friend or neighbor allows for a more comfortable and satisfying experience for both the caregiver and patient. While the patient feels in control of his or her care, the caregiver can enjoy a better patient caregiver relationship and more predictability thanks to the arrangement with the friend or neighbor.
Like working for family members, the patient in this satiation would be required to handle all the training and payroll information while the caregiver may or may not be required to obtain any official training beforehand.
4. Private Pay Caregiving
Private Pay caregivers are caregivers who are hired “under the table.” These caregivers are typically hired by patients who want to work directly with their caregivers, without the structure or requirements of a home care agency or CDPAP. Private pay caregivers aren’t always friends or family members of the patient, although they can be.
While private pay caregiving may seem simple, it’s important to remember different states have different laws surrounding hiring caregivers, and that both patients and caregivers may be responsible for taxes and withholdings if the two of you decide to enter such an agreement.
5. Through Insurance
Securing caregiver pay through an insurance company can be tricky, but it is possible. In some cases, long-term care insurance and other such policies afford some coverage for in-home care providers, and it’s possible to get paid by these companies.
Be aware, though, that there are specifications and that you may need training or certification that you wouldn’t need to be a private pay caregiver or to work for a friend, neighbor, or family member.
Sometimes, insurance companies will not pay providers who are not certified and employed by a health care agency. Before you pursue this route, talk with your would-be patient about their insurance coverage and whether it would cover you.
As a general rule, Medicare benefits don’t cover the expenses of home care aides, unless the person hiring the aide needs skilled care, like nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language care.
There are many restrictions surrounding these circumstances, and it’s wise for patients and caregivers to evaluate the bounds of coverage completely before making the decision to press forward.
Medicaid provides sponsored programs meant to cover the funding for long-term care for elderly people. These programs may cover things such as meal delivery, in-home healthcare, personal care services, adult day care, transportation, and more.
To qualify for payment through these programs, caregivers need to work with their patients to ensure the household is eligible for Medicaid programs and that the caregiver’s training is enough to qualify for the program.
Getting Paid as a Caregiver
While many caregivers believe working an unpaid position is their only option, the times are changing and there are many ways to get paid as a caregiver today.
Simple options, like direct payment, and more recent options like working for family members, friends, or neighbors are all fantastic ways for caregivers to secure payment for their services and to succeed in making a living from their dedication and devotion to caregiving.
While it may take some back-and-forth to find a caregiving approach that works for you and your patient, it’s well worth it in the long run.